PILLARS - The Episcopal High School Magazine www.ehshouston.org
Bright Knights MARVIN WILSON '17 Star Defensive Tackle Stays Focused on High School Goals Being named the nation's top recruit has brought varsity defensive tackle Marvin Wilson much attention this year, especially as the Knights defend their SPC title. Last spring, MaxPreps named Wilson an All American, and this fall, Rivals.com crowned him the nation's number-one recruit in the junior class. He's received more than 20 offers from Division 1 schools, and vetted multiple interviews from both local and national media. In the past, Rivals.com has named only two other Texans a number-one recruit: Adrian Pederson and Vince Young. "It's crazy to be compared to those guys," Wilson replied when interviewed by the local Fox News channel. "It's just a humbling feeling." From all appearances, Wilson does seem to be taking the acclaim in stride, even as big-name college coaches court him on the sidelines. In early October, he gave CBS Sports his top five choices, and SEC schools figured heavily in that list, especially LSU, which he has visited twice. Still he declares, "I will make a final decision next year in February, no earlier." Wilson is from a family of four athletic children, but the sibling who inspired him the most is his older brother, Jonathon, a wheelchair athlete. "I grew up watching Jonathon play many sports, especially, basketball," says Wilson. "I always admired his determination and love of competition." Pro players that he admires include the Texans' JJ Watt and Vince Wilfork, as well as the Miami Dolphins' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, whose aggressive playing style Wilson's has been compared to by observers. The 6-4, 316-pound defensive tackle loves playing football. "I love making the big plays. I love running," says Wilson. "Everyone thinks the games are tough, but the games are fun. The hard part about football is the practice—especially the two-a-days in the summer." He points out that because of the fierce drills and long hours necessary to achieve on the gridiron, the camaraderie among the players is unmatched. Head coach Steve Leisz says that at 300-plus pounds Wilson can seem intimidating, but off the field, "Marvin has a heart of gold. He's one of the most likable kids on campus. "And when it comes to football," adds Leisz, "it's not about Marvin. Marvin is all about the team. He takes his leadership responsibilities as seriously as his playing responsibilities." Though he enjoys the notoriety and has worked hard to maintain his ranking, Wilson stresses that for his junior and senior years, he wants to soak up the entire EHS experience, not just the sports. "I love the small classes, daily Chapel, and lunch with my friends. I want to enjoy my four years at EHS, and not get too focused on the next steps." —Claire C. Fletcher At press time, the Knights were headed to the SPC Championship game versus Kinkaid.